By Romeo Takundwa
Parliament has been commended for targeting marginalised communities in this year’s 2022 national budget consultative meetings held last week from the 11th to 15th of October.
This was a departure from traditional practice of hosting such consultation meetings in provincial capitals.
The national Budget provides the Executive with an opportunity to improve the lives of people by allocating resources to high priority areas to restore outcomes for citizens.
In their weekend reader issued last Friday, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) applauded parliament for affording marginalised communities an opportunity to air their views with regards to the national budget.
“The ongoing National Budget Consultative meetings that have been held by parliament from the 11th to today the 15th of October have provided communities with an opportunity to lament over the tough living conditions they are experiencing because of the poor performance of the economy.
“ZIMCODD applauds Parliament of Zimbabwe for deliberate targeting of hard to reach and marginalized communities in the 2022 budget consultations. This year saw Parliament reach out to areas such as Mapisa (Matopo), Binga, Chireya (Gokwe) and Chirumhanzu among other remote locations to capture voices and aspirations of citizens on the 2022 national budget”.
Other areas that were visited by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development include Umzingwane Matabeleland South Province, Rushinga and Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central Province as well as Birchenough Bridge in Manicaland Province.
The Civil Society Organisation which advocates for social and economic justice however urged the government to provide adequate financial resources for service provision in areas such as health, education, infrastructure and water and sanitation.
“With calls by the citizens for more attention on the critical areas, government should consider desisting from allocating a significant chunk of the national budget to Ministries such as Defense as has been the norm while failing to meet the international budget allocation benchmark in ministries such as Health and Child Care, Education, Infrastructure and Social protection Ministries.
“It is crucial to reflect over how the government will meet both the pressing and immediate demands for improved service delivery whilst equally putting attention on key economic sectors which should anchor growth and use the gains thereof to reinforce economic resilience going forward,” read the statement.
To this end, this year’s 2022 national budget consultative meetings saw the involvement of the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which ensures that government allocates resources towards the attainment of United Nations SDGs (2030)